Custom «Determining Truth» Essay Paper Sample

Determining Truth

Determining truth is a complicated process. What is truth? Can one find truth? The answer to this question is a clear proof to the existence of truth. For truth to exist, it must correspond to its reality, referent or object. One needs to understand what constitute “rightness” and “wrongness.” Different personalities have their own basis for what is right or wrong. In his essay, “Truth, Objectivity, and Agreement”, Earl Babbie argues that all persons have some degree of biasness. Reasoning is one way that tries to eliminate biasness that will consequently help to achieve objectivity.

Determining truth objectively is most of the time affected by differences in personal views since humans have differences in emotions and perspectives. These differences can only reach at subjective truth. Subjectivity of truth means that truth belongs to or is characteristic of reality as a perception rather than as phenomenal or independent of mind (Freeman 2). If the truth is objective, it means that it relates to an object, is an object, a phenomenon, or a condition in the realm of sensible experience that is independent of a person’s thought and is a perception of all observers (Freeman 2). Additionally, objective truth means that truth is “factual” or “certain.” It is not something conceived out of “belief” or “opinion” (Freeman 2). Objective truth can be physically determined, quantified or measured. However, According to Babbie, agreement of beliefs, opinions and views can still achieve some level of objectivity. This agreement he calls it “inter-subjective agreement”. Babbie says, “It can have the same force and effect as objective truth.”

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There are certain basic principles to employ in determining truth objectively. One of them is that truth is absolute. It is factual in nature and remains true to all persons every time and everywhere. Objective truth is not relative since it is not subject to the holder. Truth is true if it corresponds to reality (Norman 110), for instance, the reality of gravity. If one’s beliefs are in agreement with facts of reality, then they become truth. If one believes there is no gravity, one should prove that one can fly without wings.

A matter is true if it is internally coherent. Truth is rationally consistent. If a belief or a claim is self-referentially inconsistent and self defeating, it fails the test of truth (Norman113). Norman adds that contradiction is another best test for truth. Two statements, claims or beliefs, must be coherent. For instance, one who holds the claim “there is no gravity” should not contradict with “I cannot fly without the aid from a lofty building”. If it does contradict, one is categorically wrong.

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Objective truth is functionally adequate (Norman 116). A concept or a claim is true if life or experiment can prove it to be so. If the claim is livable or works in the real life situation, then it is true. In contrast, Babbie illustrates closeness of inter-subjectivity with objectivity by Copernicus’ discovery that the Earth revolves around the sun. The belief is currently universally accepted all after a majority of scientists agreed with his idea. In other words Babbie argues that a belief, an opinion or view which is subjective becomes “truth” when it fudges numbers of supporters. People end up holding these views as “self evident” if the holders hold it for long enough.

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Objective truth is always true regardless of one’s thoughts and beliefs. Objective truth in comprehensible terms is what corresponds to reality and facts one can perfectly determine objective truth based on three key facts. These are: objective truth is logical, factual, and livable. Truth does not contradict lines up with the real world and it is meaningful. However, truth can never be completely objective. This is because one may need agreement and acceptance of other people. This people have their own ways of reasoning. For that reason Babbie concludes that the “only proof of objectivity is inter-subjectivity.”

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